PlayStation Believes Game Subscriptions Are Less Valuable Than Video Streaming

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"People Play 1 Game At A Time"

Story Highlights
  • Like Xbox Game Pass, Sony offers the PS Plus subscription service.
  • However, the Sony CEO does not find this service as valuable as traditional video streaming subscriptions.
  • Kenichiro Yoshida believes this is because gamers typically focus on one game at a time.

Gaming subscriptions are all the rage today. With publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and more offering their own variants of this form of content delivery, the industry has rapidly evolved to adopt this model.

Xbox Game Pass also offered $9K worth of content last year,  making subscriptions quite handy for budget customers. However, the current CEO of Sony does not see too much value in the model, especially when compared to video streaming.

Why it matters: This stance highlights the difference in business mindset between Microsoft and Sony, with the former more focused on subscriptions as a core focus. On the other hand, this model is a bonus for Sony.

YouTube video

Speaking on the Norges Bank Investment Management YouTube channel, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spoke about different aspects of the gaming industry.

When asked about his thoughts on the industry pivoting toward a subscription-based model, he compared gaming subscriptions to the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and more.

The CEO holds the opinion that subscriptions make much more sense for video streaming than for gaming. He said:

“People usually play one game at a time. Many games may not be so valuable compared to video streaming services.”

However, PlayStation is not one to be left behind. Offering games worth $8K last year, this service highlights Sony’s hybrid approach, as stated by the CEO.

While Microsoft is all in on Game Pass, PlayStation hopes to strike a balance between premium releases and its subscriptions. This is the major reason for the lack of day-one AAA releases on PS Plus Extra or Premium.

Sony PS5 PlayStation 5

Kenichiro Yoshida also raised a great point in terms of the amount of content subscribers can consume. A game can typically last around 6-50 hours, depending on the genre, replayability, and scope. Compared to the typical movie, this is already much longer.

Games are also more expensive to buy upfront, making an interesting contrast between the subscription model offered by the gaming and video streaming industries. Still, the benefits of a subscription cannot be denied.

In the same interview, the CEO expressed his views on expanding PlayStation moving forward. Instead of targeting consoles alone, the company will focus on PC, mobile, and cloud gaming.

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